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4th February Current Affairs

Haryana private sector quota law stayed

(GS-II: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)

In News:

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has stayed a law that reserves 75 per cent of jobs for Haryanvis in private establishments across the state.

Background:

Haryana government has ordered that the law (the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Bill) providing for 75% reservation for locals in private sector jobs came into force from January 15, 2022.

Why was the law challenged?

The petitioners contended that Haryana wanted to create reservation in private sector by introducing a policy of “sons of the soil”, which was an infringement of the constitutional rights of employers.

It was also argued that private sector jobs were purely based on skills and analytical bent of mind, and employees had a fundamental right to work in any part of India.

Forcing the employers to employ local candidates in private sector vide this bill impugned Act is the violation of the federal structure framed by the Constitution of India, whereby the government cannot act contrary to public interest and cannot benefit one class.

Highlights of the law:

The law provides for 75% reservation in private sector jobs to those having a resident certificate (domicile).

The law will be applicable for a period of 10 years.

Jobs with a gross monthly salary of not more than ₹30,000 will be up for hiring from among local candidates.

Rationale behind the law:

To create a harmonious environment for industry as well as the youth along with creating the right balance between the progress of industries and the economy.

Concerns over the bill:

It could lead to multinational firms moving out of the state.

Reservation affects productivity and industry competitiveness.

What are the legal issues in such laws?

The question of domicile reservation in jobs: While domicile quotas in education are fairly common, courts have been reluctant in expanding this to public employment. It raises questions relating to the fundamental right to equality of citizens.

The issue of forcing the private sector to comply with reservations in employment. For mandating reservation in public employment, the state draws its power from Article 16(4) of the Constitution. But, the Constitution has no manifest provision for private employment from which the state draws the power to make laws mandating reservation.

It may not be able to withstand judicial scrutiny on the touchstone of Article 19(1)(g).

Drone Rules, 2021

(GS-III: Science and Technology)

In News:

As on 31 December 2021, nine remote pilot training organisations have been set up by entities under Government or private ownership.

Details:

As per Drone Rules, 2021, any person who intends to obtain the authorisation to establish a Remote Pilot Training Organisation (RPTO) shall submit an application to the Director General of Civil Aviation in Form D5 on the Digital Sky Platform, along with the specified fees.

Drone management in India:

The Union government had on September 15 approved a production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for drones and drone components with an allocation of Rs 120 crore spread over three financial years.

The ministry had on August 25 notified the Drone Rules, 2021 that eased the regulation of drone operations in India by reducing the number of forms that need to be filled to operate them from 25 to five and decreasing the types of fees charged from the operator from 72 to four.

New drone rules:

Digital sky platform shall be developed as a business-friendly single-window online system.

No flight permission required upto 400 feet in green zones and upto 200 feet in the area between 8 and 12 km from the airport perimeter.

No pilot licence required for micro drones (for non-commercial use), nano drones and for R&D organisations.

No restriction on drone operations by foreign-owned companies registered in India.

Import of drones and drone components to be regulated by DGFT.

No security clearance required before any registration or licence issuance.

No requirement of certificate of airworthiness, unique identification number, prior permission and remote pilot licence for R&D entities.

Coverage of drones under Drone Rules, 2021 increased from 300 kg to 500 kg.  This will cover drone taxis also.

Issuance of Certificate of Airworthiness delegated to Quality Council of India and certification entities authorised by it.

Manufacturer may generate their drone’s unique identification number on the digital sky platform through the self-certification route.

Maximum penalty under Drone Rules, 2021 reduced to INR 1 lakh. This shall, however, not apply to penalties in respect of violation of other laws.

Drone corridors will be developed for cargo deliveries.

Drone promotion council to be set up to facilitate a business-friendly regulatory regime.

Need for stricter rules and regulations:

Recently, Drones were used for the first time to drop explosive devices, triggering blasts inside the Air Force Station’s technical area in Jammu.

Over the past two years, drones have been deployed regularly by Pakistan-based outfits to smuggle arms, ammunition and drugs into Indian territory.

According to government figures, 167 drone sightings were recorded along the border with Pakistan in 2019, and in 2020, there were 77 such sightings.

With the rapid proliferation of drone technology and exponential growth of its global market in recent years, the possibility of a drone attack cannot be ruled out even in the safest cities in the world.

Drones are becoming security threats particularly in conflict zones where non-state actors are active and have easy access to the technology.

Drone Categories in India:

Registration is required for all but the Nano category.

  1. Nano: Less than or equal to 250 grams
  2. Micro: From 250 grams to 2kg
  3. Small: From 2kg to 25kg
  4. Medium: From 25kg to 150kg
  5. Large: Greater than 150kg

Significance of Drones:

  • Use of drones in commercial, safety, law and order, disaster management and surveillance operations reduce manpower requirement and costs.
  • Drones offer low-cost, safe and quick aerial surveys for data collection and are useful for industries such as power, mining, realty and oil and gas exploration.

Myanmar- Past and Present

(GS-II: India and neighbourhood relations)

In News:

There have been mass protests, armed resistance and mass killings in Myanmar since the military seized control a year ago.

Details:

Elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been jailed after what her supporters say are show trials.

The Myanmar military grabbed power in a coup last year– the third time in the nation’s history since its independence from British rule in 1948.

Who is in charge now?

Military commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing has taken power. He has long wielded significant political influence, successfully maintaining the power of the Tatmadaw – Myanmar’s military – even as the country moved towards democracy.

What has the international reaction been to the coup?

The United Nations has warned of a deepening humanitarian crisis in Myanmar, with “an intensification of violence and a rapid rise in poverty”.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has accused the security forces of a “reign of terror”.

The US, UK and European Union have imposed sanctions on military officials.

China blocked a UN Security Council statement condemning the coup, but has backed calls for a return to democratic norms.

India’s demands:

  • Myanmar’s return to democracy at the earliest.
  • Release of detainees and prisoners.
  • Resolution of issues through dialogue.
  • Complete cessation of all violence.

India is supporting ASEAN initiative on Myanmar and the ‘Five-Point Consensus’: It includes:

  • Immediate cessation of violence.
  • Dialogue among all stakeholders in Myanmar for a peaceful solution.
  • The appointment of a special Asean envoy to facilitate mediation.
  • Aid to Myanmar.
  • A visit to the country by the envoy.

A brief History of Myanmar:

When British imperialists annexed what is today’s Myanmar during the 19th century, they called it Burma after the dominant Burman (Bamar) ethnic group, and administered it as a province of colonial India.

This arrangement continued until 1937, when Burma was separated from British India and made a separate colony.

Even after the country became independent in 1948, it retained the same name, becoming the ‘Union of Burma’.

In 1962, the military took over from a civilian government for the first time, and amended the official name in 1974 to the ‘Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma’.

Then in 1988, Myanmar’s armed forces again took power in the country, after suppressing a popular uprising that led to the deaths of thousands, and reversed the official name to ‘Union of Burma’.

But a year later, the junta adopted a law that replaced Burma with Myanmar, making the country the ‘Union of Myanmar’.

Why the name change was controversial?

While changing the country’s name, the military said that it was looking for a way to leave behind a name inherited from the colonial past, and adopt a new one which could unify all of its 135 officially recognised ethnic groups, and not just the Burman people.

Critics decried the move, arguing that Myanmar and Burma mean the same thing in the Burmese language, only that the ‘Myanmar’ is a more formal way of saying ‘Burma’– a word used colloquially.

The other name changes too, such as Rangoon to Yangon, only reflected greater conformity with the Burmese language, and nothing else.

Also, the name changes took place only in English. Even in English, the adjective form remained (and continues to remain) Burmese, and not Myanmarese.

Pro-democracy sympathisers said that the name changes were illegitimate, as they were not decided by the will of the people.

As a result, many governments around the world opposed to the junta decided to ignore the name changes, and continued to call the country Burma and its capital Rangoon.

Myanmar’s military Constitution:

It was the military that drafted the 2008 Constitution, and put it to a questionable referendum in April that year.

The Constitution was the military’s “roadmap to democracy”, which it had been forced to adopt under increasing pressure from the west.

It was also due to its own realisation that opening up Myanmar to the outside world was now no longer an option but a dire economic necessity.

But the military made sure to safeguard in the Constitution its own role and supremacy in national affairs.

Under its provisions, the military reserves for itself 25 per cent of seats in both Houses of Parliament, to which it appoints serving military officials.

Also, a political party which is a proxy for the military contests elections.